Summary: The Heavy-hearted teen then turned from her parents and cleaved to bloodshed. Life became unmoving. Time disenfranchised. Each day to kill the monster behind the massacre opened the doors to hell wider. She saw someone coming through…a boy morphing into man. So much to say and feelings explained. Right now there is no time for love only revenge!
Chapter One: Corpse Reprisal
Sheathed in a tormenting combustion was a beautiful gem of a lady. Although her defenses were weakening her eyes stayed focused on him. Splattered in his blood they lay consumed in each other. They were always enemies and they were always lovers. Time had finally run out for them both, their kind was not welcome in this world. Townsfolk gathered watching the two bodies become desecrated in a bluish flame. A single calm 'I love you' escaped the captors' lips until screams chocked the air they breathed.
Tales of their deaths soon spread across the world and varied from which ever culture one might ask. Although to any intelligent being the message was clear: To love a person outside of your kind is a sin.
However their deaths did more than cause an illustrious array of bedtime stories and justifications for parental bigotry. For in the horrible deaths of the two lovers, there was much peace and prosperity brought to the world. Most say it was worth it others may beg to differ.
This story was one she never took pleasure in reading, hearing, or reciting despite the fact that her dim demeanor would suggest it so. Even the vaguest mentioning of it caused her physical pain. Every first of Harvest on the celebration of their deaths she would go into hiding. At first her parents were offended by the reactions she had. But Gwyn was a spirited person and tired them out quickly. With each coming of the holiday she persuaded them to write her a note of absence and with it she disappeared from middle-class society.
This time of year finally revisited them and she vanished.
Gwyn hustled up a small flight of stone stairs into a mossy woodland area. The sun had not risen yet, so the glorious ambiance of night remained well over the patches of cottages nestled there. She took a deep breath before getting herself up another row of stairs.
From one of the homes a large woman poked out her head. She waved a pleasant hello to the girl. Gwyn cheerfully greeted the woman. "Good Morn to yah Beth!"
"Good morning to you as well child! You are heading' off to the tavern I suppose?"
"Yes, I've got to get away from all those city folk and their constant singing of the dead." Gwyn replied with a smile.
"Not this year if I was you."
"Perhaps we should speak about this alone."
Beth closed her window and decided to meet the girl face to face. Dressed in a murky red gown and slippers the middle aged woman hobbled to the youth. They exchanged hugs then went into the privacy of her backyard.
Half-naked covered in sweat was a muscular teen chopping wood. He paused for a moment to get a look at the visitor then returned to his work. Curious far more than the working man, was a fat orange cat that was lying across the gentle dewy grass. Not once did he let the humans out of his sight just in case they thought to treat him.
"Please have a seat on the bench. I don't bite." Beth huffed as she fell back onto the rickety surface. Gwyn followed suit a bit more softly.
"So what's going on with the Tavern, Ms. Beth?"
"It's a lot of crazy carps if you ask me." The man spat, before making swing at a hefty log.
"Crazy is an understatement. A month ago a drunkard was hastily executed for killing our governor's daughter, Polly. Nothing was left but the flesh of her face. A week later they found a mass of dead bodies inside the Tavern in the same condition. Needless to say they closed Old Grey House down for good and kept us on our properties until further notice. This can only be the work of demons."
"I saw none on my way."
"That is relieving. I was surprised no guards have arrested you yet. They said they were going to keep anyone from approaching the city."
"Dear god, I can't believe all that has happened! This town used to be so peaceful past the few occasional thieves."
"Yes, I am sure those guards were pissed at you. How'd you get in anyway?"
"There were no guards." Gwyn responded anxiously.
"Perhaps at the opening of the town square they'll announce the lockdown lifted. You know how lazy politicians can be." Beth laughed.
"Be that as it may, you are right I'd better be getting home." Gwyn sighed, pushing herself off the bench. "It was nice seeing you both again."
"I don't want you traveling alone. I'll escort you to the train station." Ivan said dropping his axe into the ground.
"Yes that is a good idea you never know who may be lurking out there." Beth added waiving them off with her stubby hands. "Before you send Gwyn off you should fix her some pea stew. I made a kettle full. Eat your fill."
Ivan swung open the back door releasing warmth for autumn to steal. Sweet smells ushered their guest hastily to the dinner table. Starving eyes focused on the man making her food. A hideous scowl darkened his handsome features. Since when had he grown so callous; he handed her a half spilt bowl. From the counter Ivan yanked a loaf of bread and devoured it. Gwyn lifted the bowl to her mouth taking one hot sip.
"So how is the high life treating you William's Cove?" He smacked in attempt to get all the bread down.
"I wouldn't exactly call being a clerk high living. It's just as degrading as working logs." Her reply was stifled as she lowered the bowl. "Owe…that's really hot!"
"Log workers are considered F class citizens. Only classes D through B have the chance of moving up." Ivan pulled out a chair to the table and sat. "Last I checked your sector profession is in the C rank."
"So what's that suppose to mean?"
"It means exactly that."
"Well there is no need for you to be getting all pushy and prejudice. I am going to marry you one day. Then you will be able to move up in rank."
"Ha like our folks would allow that."
"Who says they'd have to know?"
Ivan blushed at her flirtatious tone. "Finish up your soup. Then I'll take you to the train station."
In gradual gulps she completed her meal. Once her mouth was wiped clean with her sleeve Gwyn spoke, "I mean it. If you want to today we can get married! I have just enough money to pay for another train ticket. We'll go to the capitol and make it official."
"I'll think about it." He cheesed removing his presence from the table. "Let's go before mother hears us."
Together they left through the back gate to the cobblestone road. Ivan headed towards the stair leading away from town, while Gwyn mournfully looked towards the Tavern down the way. Gold tape was strung all around it. In the entire world there was never a friendlier place to be; now it was laced with agony.
"Ivan I want to see the building one last time before we leave. After news gets out of what happened here, they'll close down public access of factory-towns for sure."
"I am sure they will." He rolled his eyes, and then pushed her towards the Tavern. "Let's make it quick and get going. Lollygagging is for royalty on vacation not a Clerk's apprentice and a Woodsman."
Her face blushed a bit; she had always had a crush on Ivan. But it was uncommon for such opposites to mingle let alone be engaged. Much to his mother's liking they kept a distance from each other. At least she had the one kiss he had given her on winter's eve and the touch he had just given her back. Things between them remained platonic at best, but she had plans to change this.
Reaching Old Grey House was easy but seeing her in the condition was not. All of the windows were shattered and its doors flung out onto the yard. Scorched lantern casings rocked on the curb.
"What the hell, the Tavern didn't look like this when we left it last night."
Upon Ivan's statement the lady walked closer to the entryway. A small ball of clothing became more visible. She covered her nose from the outrageous odor; it was part of a rotting corpse in imperial armor!
"We need to leave now—"Gwyn turned to find Ivan gushing blood from the mouth. He dropped with a heavy thud. "—Ivan!"
"I had almost killed the entire town before you stepped in."
"No-no…I won't let you! Stay away!" She hollered before making a run for the Tavern. Panic distorted the place she once knew so well. There in the corner was a cupboard just big enough for her to fit. It surprised her that he had not chased her inside the building. No time to check behind, she stuffed herself in and hid.
No footsteps were heard only the racing of her heart and the passing of the second hand from the shattered wall clock. Ample time went by perhaps he had searched the whole place over and counted her gone into the woods. The door to the cupboard opened.
"Leave me alone!" Gwyn wailed, as she was dragged out by his icy hands. Next to her leg was his sheathed blade. Dried painted rib bones clacked against the elaborate bamboo casing. Amidst trying to stop herself from being pulled, she reached for the handle.
"Don't be a fool girl!" He shouted tossing her onto Ivan's bleeding corpse. "Today you will die, so face it with courage!"
She grasped firmly onto his muscular build letting her hair become soaked in his blood. Head pains started to blur her vision as the ridged assailant released his blade from its hold. He waved the metal just above her spine.
"Gwyn and Ivan those names blend beautifully as one. Perhaps the two of you were sweet hearts once. You look so lovely in life I hope you will look the same in death."
Fear had paralyzed her entire body to her toes. A swish from the sword verified her demise; in great haste she closed her eyes. Her heart still drummed well after the sound. Gwyn looked up to find the murderer hoping from roof to roof.
"Beth…you are right…an evil demon has come."
With all her energy drained the girl fainted onto a writhing dead body. If there was life after this nightmare, how could it be lived?
Hauntingly beautiful pear blossom petals drifted in through a wide open window. Hung on its wall was a stuffed back pack. Autumn fanned warm winds into the room stirring its inhabitant from her slumber. While examining the architecture of the place Gwyn placed her hands over her softly swaying hair. This was not a site she was fully in knowledge of. Dizzy from far too much rest Gwyn stumbled out of bed to the window. Below her was a city of white skyscrapers surrounded by monorail lines coursing all about. Nearly touching the skyline was the Royal Palace of Ealhdun. Sunlight danced off its metal walls blinding those who looked upon it for too long.
"This is the only natural beauty left in our capital city."
A man dressed in sackcloth extended his hand to the shaken up teen. Greatly hesitant Gwyn touched palms with the stranger. Pleased the elder individual introduced himself as Vlad, Head of the Magic Consulate.
"They sent our team out to investigate the death of governor's daughter, seeing as though it was classified paranormal. None of us were expecting a town massacre, though. No one else survived, but you. One must wonder how old you truly are and if you practice some dark craft. "
"I know nothing of witchery or demonic powers! All I know is that he wanted to kill and make people suffer. It was like he knew I loved Ivan." Gwyn clasped her hands on her shirt trying not cry. "He wanted us to die together, like in the stupid story of Peter and Augustine! I had come to that village because they do not celebrate their deaths. In Logs-helm they mourn for them instead of basking in song and concert!"
"Will you do your part then? Please, come with me to the grand palace and tell the advisors and lords your story! For so long they brushed the topic off knowing Plague has started to slaughter!"
"I can't let him roam freely. I'll do anything to have him put down like the dog he is!" Gwyn's rage colored her face pink.
"You are a true woman of Ealhdun. What you will do for your kingdom will not be forgotten. Today all of the kingdom's most important leaders will have dinner with his majesty. You will be his honored guest this quarter. Somehow with your story you must persuade him. If he gives the okay more men and aide will be added to the hunt. If we are to make it there on time we must leave now. There is a carriage below waiting for us."